Head of Regional, Diversity, Wildlife & Education - Ray McCarthy

Executive Producer, Education , Science, Diversity - Colm O' Callaghan

UPDATED: 04th December 2014


This department continues to support blue-chip natural history wildlife series, like the multi-award winning Secrets of The Shannon and the beautiful and engaging series, Irelands Oceans. A new series, currently in production, Irelands Wild Cities, will explore the urban aspects of Irish wildlife.

Among our other regular series emanating from the wilds of Ireland are Living The Wildlife, Tracks and Trails and the ever popular rural affairs series, Ear To The Ground.
Education has recently broadcast the multi-part Education series Class Swap, The Family Project and Building Ireland in pre-watershed slots and the acclaimed Des Bishop - Breaking China in post-watershed.

This year we've also scored notable critical successes with documentary projects like Somebody To Love, which has been sold into numerous European territories and which has scooped several awards. Close To Evil, our feature-length Holocaust documentary film garnered unanimously positive reviews and has attracted much international interest.

The global affairs series What In The World ? grows stronger and develops new audiences with every new year while we also commissioned Féile Dreams, which aired as a one-off, 25-minute ob doc last Christmas.

Commissioning priorities:

The primary aim of this commissioning team is to enhance the RTÉ schedules - on RTÉ One and RTÉ 2 - with innovative and thought- provoking programming, both in pre and post-watershed.

This is achieved through a combination full commissions [Des Bishop - Breaking China, Taking Care of Business, Ear To The Ground, Living The Wildlife, Class Swap], support for suitable, ambitious B.A.I. projects [The Secret Life Of The Shannon, Ireland's Oceans, Building Ireland, In Good Hands, The Family Project], third party, co- funded series [Kevin McAleer - Our Friends In The North, What in The World ?] and also backing attractive Advertiser Funded projects [Power In The Blood, The Irish Road To Cheltenham and Tracks & Trails].

Observational series for RTE One can reflect the Irish experience in diverse series like From Here to Maternity and a new, upcoming series set in Shannon airport. We are always looking for observational series set regionally and with unique access, strong characters and storylines that can typically develop over a six/nine month period.

We have specifically targeted RTÉ 2 proposals and four new 52 min documentaries from regional producers will feature in the Reality Bites strand in 2015.

Format development is also of interest to us. The Genealogy Roadshow - which was developed with RTÉ Regional - has gone into a second series with PBS in the United States and Celebrity Wild Trials has just been optioned for foreign territories. We are open to discussing new format ideas and putting development funding in place for the right projects.

In the Education space, we take on challenging campaigning subjects, and recent projects like The Scholarship, Joe Brolly- Perfect Match, Somebody To Love and Close To Evil, all played on Mondays at 9.35
We continue to develop our commissioning in Education with two upcoming projects, We Need To Talk About Pornography and an authored documentary that looks at homosexuality in modern Ireland. Two 2015 documentaries will also capture the experiences of the Irish deaf community.

This commissioning team is often the first point of contact for new production companies from across the country.

Key to the team's strategy is the identification of new ideas, the working-up of proposals with producers and, often, the funding of development. If proposals to us are more suited to the other areas, they'll be directed there.

We're not risk-averse or afraid of being provocative. Our programmes are scheduled in a range of evening slots and we encourage programme makers to consider from the off about where their ideas might play in the RTÉ schedule.

We're open to multi-part, half-hour projects in pre-watershed and post-watershed, multi-part 30/40 minute projects that can play in post-watershed and to documentary ideas that can play Mondays, RTÉ One at 9.35 [and elsewhere in the schedule].

We are also interested in event-programming and one-offs, especially in the area of Science.

Multi-part, weekdays, pre-watershed

Transmission: RTE One Duration: 6 by 25 min, 4 by 25 mins

We're open to a range of ideas in pre and post-watershed. These can be observational series or authored pieces, presenter-led, issue and non-issue based.

Series that have worked well for us in the recent past have taken inspiration from everyday life ;- Class Swap, Taking Care Of Business and From Here To Maternity.

We are also interested in lightly-formatted ideas with broad appeal for family audiences ;- series that have worked here in the past include The Family Project, The Irish Road To Cheltenham and Tracks and Trails.

We are open to new talent and formats designed to cast light on contemporary life and relationships and that are capable of attracting wide audiences to RTÉ One. Promising formats can be put into development and piloted. The recent Taking Care of Business format from Cork-based company AV3 reflected the challenges faced by indebted Irish family firms while offering real take away information for recovery.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category Regional 2015 Pre-watershed


Multi-part, weekdays, post-watershed

Transmission: RTE One

Duration: Multi-part in series of 3, 4 or 6 by 25 or 40 mins

Series that have worked successfully for us in post-watershed include 'Des Bishop - Breaking China' [Thursdays, 10.15] and The Teens' Midwife [Thursdays, 10.15]

We are interested in series that reflect modern Irish life, either at home or abroad, and across a range of diversity topics and issues. We are especially interested in projects that deal with all manner of diversity ;- sexual, physical, intellectual, race, gender etc.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category Regional 2015, Post-watershed


Summer, post-watershed [Summer]

Transmission: RTE One

Duration: 4 by 25 mins

Cracking Crime has long delivered strong audiences for us, playing in short-runs post-watershed. But what other ideas are out there that have the potential to become essential viewing ?. While this is a high profile slot on RTÉ One, the summer scheduling is reflected in a reduced tariff. So attractive, cost-effective proposals capable of attracting general audiences will be preferred.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category Regional "2015, Post-watershed Summer


RTÉ 2, weekdays, post-watershed

Transmission: RTÉ 2, Post Watershed

Duration 50 mins

We are looking for strong one-off ideas that target the 15 - 34 year old demographic as part of the Reality Bites strand.
Timely stories featuring interesting characters with attitude and provocative storylines which will engage this target audience are welcome.

The potential for any one-off Reality Bites doc to develop into a possible mini-series is also welcome.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category Regional - 2015, RTÉ 2


Please note:

The discussion of, or initial interest in, a proposal does not represent a commitment to commission by RTÉ and should not be understood as such. Commissioning decisions will reflect the quality of proposals received and the scheduling priorities operating at the time. RTÉ's financial position will also be a factor.

Any proposals previously submitted to RTÉ in categories listed here, and which were rejected on a first reading in a previous Round, should not be re-submitted and will not be reconsidered.

All proposals should be submitted via our e-Commissioning system.


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